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Walk in Africa / Protea
9 Feb

The adventures of Bill and the birders ( or patterns in nature)

It's already February  and I haven't written a newsletter for months.  I apologise,  but life has just been too exciting.Tonight as I was looking back on my adventures in order to choose a theme for a newsletter, I was flooded with wonderful recollections of times with friends and clients in Victoria Falls, Hwange, Cape Town, Uganda, Belgium, Singita, Table Mountain, Timbavati, The Succulent Karoo, Namibia, The winelands, The Cederberg . . . I hope to share all of these adventures with you  but the one that is demanding to be heard...

9 Dec

The Queen and The Sailor

On Saturday I hiked up The Matroosberg, which at 2249 metres (7379 ft) is the highest mountain in the Western Cape. When viewed from the south side the mountain has a feature which is said to resemble a sailor standing alongside a ship. This explains the Afrikaans name Matroosberg, which means "sailor mountain". From the peak, the views are spectacular and there are excellent and breathtaking views of the exposed geological folding that created these mountains. Unfortunately my camera which earlier in the year was destroyed by an elephant, has...

24 Feb

Surprises with the Norwegians

I went walking on Table Mountain with Elin from Get Africa Travel and some of her friends.   I promised them a surprise (overraskelse), but even I was surprised by the unexpected surprises! First we saw our National Flower Protea cynaroides and Elin looked very surprised.   Then we saw Disa graminifolia, the Blue Disa . . . and I was ecstatic. These flowers make me so happy.   And then we were surprised by yet another orchid from the genus Disa - Disa ferruginea, the cluster disa.   And finally we saw the surprise that I had promised...

11 Nov

November is the new Pink

In this floral wonderland that is currently my home I notice temporal patterns in the colours of the flowers. In mid-summer we have a predominance of red flowers and this is certainly correlated with the emergence of the Mountain Pride Butterfly (Aeropetes tulbaghia), which is attracted to the colour red. Right now as we pass from Spring into Summer I see the hills covered in beautiful flowers, with a definite preponderance of the colour PINK (or variations thereof - Cerise, Rose, Fuchsia, Magenta, Lavender). I went for a short walk this evening...

9 Sep

An exquisite new species (for me)

Last week, while walking in the mist, I came across this exquisite Pincushion Protea. This is Leucospermum lineare and  have never before seen it in flower.   It is no secret that I have a soft spot for Leucospermums and find them wonderfully photogenic. So the remaining photos are simply my celebration of this beautiful flower and a celebration of the spring. I hope that enjoy these pictures as much as I do. ...

2 Feb

And we’re back

Many apologies for our long absence from the cyber-realm. We had some problems with our website and as a result I have not been able to post any blogs for about a month. Thank you very much to everyone who notified us about the problems with accescheap viagra overnights to our website and to those who told us that they missed the newsletters. I left everyone hanging in the midst of Helen & Malcom Scott's epic Western Cape walking holiday, so here are a few highlights just to get me...

31 Jul

Over the Krakadouw Pass

We departed from Heuningvlei passing beautiful sculptured rocks en route to the Krakadouw Pass. You may recall a previous post ("Once was famous" - May 2nd 2011) in which I spoke about the tremendous variety of colour forms seen in Protea repens flowers. On this walk we saw a colour variety that I have never seen before. The bracts are white but the stamens & anthers are red. The contrast is extremely beautiful. While descending the western side of the pass we saw this beautiful Lachenalia. The genus Lachenalia...

2 May

Once was famous

Protea repens or as it is better known by its afrikaans name - Suikerbos, was once the national flower of South Africa. However something happened in 1976 and it was deposed by Protea cynaroides which is currently our national flower. I have no idea what heinous crime our Suikerbos committed and I certainly think that our current national flower is magnificent, but Protea repens certainly has enough features to warrant its prior status. The plant has a very wide geographical distribution through the Cape Floral Kingdom as well as being found in...

25 Jan

Hanging out with the Spiderheads

We were walking in a favourite part of Table Mountain National Park, when Shoshi took a leap of faith and decided to literally "hang-out". I can't say I blamed her. The view was superb and its always great to have some space under one. The day was made all the more special by these hairy Spiderheads (Serruria hirsuta). Belive it or not these beautiful flowers are members of the Protea family. They are extremely rare and this is the only known population of the species in the world. There are approximately 1500...

31 Oct

To Chapman’s Peak and beyond . . .

Chapman's Peak must be the best known mountain peak in South Africa. There are several versions of how the mountain received its name but they all agree on one thing - the mountain was named after John Chapman - a lowly ship's sailor. On our way we saw this magnificent Protea cynaroides flower: We saw magnificent scenery And finally, in a howling gale-force southeaster, we made it to the top of Chapman's Peak. ...